You all know the gist already, but to sum it up quite simply: COVID-19 is affecting every aspects of life, all types of businesses, work life, and especially the public’s mental sanity. As we have all recently learned, numbers are beginning to skyrocket again.
As businesses open back up and people have reached just about all they can take staying inside, numbers are going back up. With about 2.5 million coronavirus cases, the US has the highest number of confirmed infections in the world – about a quarter of the global total. [i] The US has also conducted the highest number of tests, approximately 20 million, which explains the high number of confirmed cases, however this is not the sole reason for rising numbers of COVID-19. [i] As business owners continue their efforts to make a long term “new normal” change in their business plan to adapt to COVID, outdoor dining is here to stay. What will this look like in cooler months? How will business learn to gear the social aspect of how they gain revenue to safe, socially distant, sanitized conditions?
According to Bloomberg, an architect that has designed prominent Las Vegas nightclubs and famous NYC restaurants has created a prototype for outdoor dining that is socially distanced and easily and inexpensively implemented in a variety of different settings. [ii] It is pretty clear that the restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and there has been speculation that a number of restaurants will not open back up. [ii] Mayor de Blasio of NYC announced that their Open Restaurant program will return on June 1st, 2021, if not earlier in the spring. [iii] The city’s Open Restaurant program was implemented to help businesses struggling during the pandemic that closed off about 100 miles of streets across all five boroughs. [iv] An estimated 80,000 jobs from more than 9,000 participating businesses have been saved since the program launched on June 22nd. [iii]
“I wanted to say it now because I want people in communities to look forward and see that we’re going to keep coming back strong. I want the folks who own the restaurants to know that they’re going to have that additional revenue going forward. The folks who work in the restaurants to know that whatever else we have to weather, we have seen that this experiment worked,” said the mayor. [iii]
Although outdoor dining is the most logical response to help restaurants stay in business and bring in as much revenue as possible, naturally there are some hurdles that restaurant owners must jump over. One prominent problem being the weather. A restaurant in NYC was approved for opening expanded outdoor seating on June 22nd, and has seen a gigantic increase in sales and has been “slammed every day”.